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Today is a more complex time than the 70s and 80s. To make ends meet, more and more families have one or both parents working, some parents working two or more jobs. This type of schedule makes it more challenging for some parents to be present for their children at all times. Sometimes it’s really hard to find the right balance.
Tech is a wonderful tool, but it is a tool that has replaced physical activity in some ways. As a child, we couldn’t wait to play outside. Tech wasn’t readily available back then. Over the years tech has become as increasingly affordable as it has powerful and capable. Children now can’t wait to play their favorite games. Even families aren’t the same. Back when I was young, shopping at the mall was a family thing – everyone exercised while walking the mall. Today many busy adults, myself included, lean more on online shopping because it is convenient. Once again, we see that it can be challenging to find the right balance.
I recently attended a sponsored briefing courtesy of Dr. Pepper Snapple and The Motherhood. During the briefing we discussed a number of topics, including balance, and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s “Let’s Play” campaign. I am sharing some of the facts from the briefing in this post. As always, any personal opinions expressed are my own.
Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) know that it can be challenging to find the right balance in life, and is working hard to make a difference in communities. As the third largest beverage manufacturer in the Unites States, DPS offers more than 50 brands of carbonated soft drinks, teas, juices, mixers, and other premium beverages. Out of its 14 biggest brands, 13 are #1 or #2 in their respective category. While the majority of business is in soft drinks, the group has many other beverages in its diverse portfolio, meaning they have something to offer everyone. That’s balance.
A key point made by the Dr. Pepper Snapple folks in the discussion is that “healthy lives depend on balance, balancing the calories you consume through food & beverages with the calories you burn through physical activity.” I totally agree with this statement. DPS is taking steps on their end to continue to develop superior products that combine taste and functionality.
According to government data, sales of full calorie soft drinks have declined since 2000 and sugar-sweetened beverages account for only 6% of calories in the average American’s diet. Knowing many people are becoming more mindful of nutritional content and portion sizing, at least 50% of all DPS innovation projects in the pipeline are focused on reducing calories, offering smaller sizes and improving nutrition. For example, the group is planning on rolling out 7.5 oz size cans over the next year. Also of note is the fact that DPS took full-calorie beverages out of school voluntarily through the School Beverage Guidelines, which have reduced the calories in beverage shipments to schools by more than 90%. They also set a goal in 2014 to reduce the calories consumed in beverages by 20% over the next 10 years by focusing on smaller package sizes; innovation, marketing and distribution of low-and no-calorie beverages; calorie information on 3 million vending machines, fountain valves and pieces and cold drink equipment; and consumer education as part of the Balance Calories initiative with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association. You can get an in-depth look at the nutrition content of all of major DPS products website dpsgproductfacts.com.
Along with portion size and nutritional content, DPS knows that consumers like you and I also take convenience, balance, value and environmental responsibility in mind when making purchasing decisions. Taste is also a factor, obviously. DPS has highly trained and experienced subject-matter experts – scientists, engineers and specialists – dedicated to creating great tasting products working in four R&D labs. Most of the products we see today on store shelves have probably existed in approximately 40 other variations before the version that we see on shelves was finalized.
Speaking of calories, DPS realizes something many of us realize – that kids and young people aren’t given the same opportunities to burn the calories they consume through daily physical activity. Kids are increasingly time-crunched, with 12 fewer hours of free time per week. Two-thirds of kids get less than an hour of play a day. Kids spend more and more of their recreational time using technology instead of playing. Here’s a pretty staggering fact – kids 8-18 spend an average of 7.5 hours per day on media. Here’s another sad fact – only 20% of children live near a park, and disadvantaged inner city youth participate 40% less in sports and fitness. All of these factors, and many others including poor eating and drinking habits, are some of the reasons that obesity rates have tripled in 6- to 11-year-olds.
Wanting to provide solutions for communities struggling to tackle the play deficit, Dr. Pepper Snapple launched the Let’s Play initiative in 2011 to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority. They have committed more than $28 million to helping serve millions of youths in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean since Let’s Play launched. They work with two nonpofits – KaBOOM! and Good Sports. Since DPS began the Let’s Play Program, it has worked with KaBOOM! to build or fix up about 2,200 playgrounds across the country and with Good Sports to donate approximately $2 million in grants for new sports equipment, impacting more than 7.5 million kids. By 2017, DPS’s Let’s Play initiative will provide nearly 10 million kids with more opportunities to play with either new or improved playgrounds and sports equipment, helping kids achieve healthier lifestyles.
Let’s Play Resources
• Website: LetsPlay.com
• Nominate a Grantee: http://www.letsplay.com/get-involved/nominate-a-grantee
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LetsPlay
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/letsplay/
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/letsplay/
How do you try to find balance in your family life?